Evan refreshing to hear a reviewer give an objective opinion on an '84 show, to me it is the subject of bogus hype, al;ot of which comes form peopelk who werenpt even at the shows. I saw a little over 90 shows in my day, the large majority of them from '84-'86, so sure I may be a little biased. But the fact is theys ounded much bette rin '84 than in the late '80's. They rarely did any iomprov in the late '80's, an dthe one tour they did, fall '89, they were so short it ewas almost like, why bother. Their sound was also pretty tame once the midi cam in. And you hit on a key poiutn Evan - Phil. The Dead had an awesome, meaty, powerful sound in '83-'86. In large part due to Brent when he played the Hammond B-3, and Lesh. These were the ealry years pf the foirst Quantum six-string. An incredible sound, especially live. Analog tapes could nopt do it justice, digital does a much beter job but still doesn;t capture it. It was truly an amazing instrument and their live sound had an incredible power and texture as aresult. A Dew from '84 blows away a Dew from '89 - I saw both, and while Jerry was clearly in poor shape in '84, his playoing was monstrous as was his sound, and the whole band;s in general. Then once Brent sadly passed, they never recaptured it in my view, kudos for plugging away for 5 more years.
I was at this show and it was greta on many levels, song selection and performance, plus the treat of Do it in teh Road which went over extremely well, a precursor to the 11.2 breakout of Gimme Some Lovin. An awesome second set, easily in the top 10 of '84 with Augusta, 7.13 & 15, 11.2, 10.14, 4.27, etc. The latter part of the '84 summer tour was graet and these shows started that momentum.
I would love to see reviewers qualify their review - i.e
. were they there - opr are theu giving simply a "taper's" perpsective. Twop very different things. I have no problem with people who werent there reviewing shows, they can comment on quality of recording as well as anyone - but don;t tell me '84 was a slack year because they have no idea whta they are talking about. I have seen people on here bash '85 becase of how bad Jerrys voice was, yet those were some of the most incredible shows I evr saw, that they ever played. I rememebr Stu Nixon writing an article in Golden Road at the end of '85 saying it was his favorite year, and he had been seing them since '69.
And as always - a huge, huge thankls to Mr. Charlie Miller, who's efforts are appreciated beyond description by us mid-'80's Heads.